World, Americas, Asia - Pacific

Trump wants to discuss 'arms race' with Russia, China

Countries 'will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race,' says Trump

Michael Hernandez   | 03.12.2018
Trump wants to discuss 'arms race' with Russia, China U.S. President Donald Trump

Washington DC

By Michael Hernandez


U.S. President Donald Trump predicted Monday he and his Russian and Chinese counterparts would talk about an end to what he described as an arms race "at some time in the future."

"I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race," Trump said on Twitter. "The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!"

The comments follow a convening of leaders of the world's 20 largest economies in Argentina where they addressed pressing global issues.

At a formal dinner at the G20, Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping but had only a brief interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the meeting's sidelines after canceling a bilateral meeting amid Russia-Ukraine tensions.

Trump did not specify what steps should be taken to wind down defense spending, and he announced in October he intends to withdraw the U.S. from a 1987 ballistic missile treaty that bans land-based intermediate range ballistic missiles citing alleged violations of the pact by Russia.

The agreement is meant to stave off prospects of nuclear war, particularly in Europe, by eliminating ground-based ballistic missiles with a range of roughly 300 to 3,400 miles (500-5,500 kilometers).

Russia reacted angrily to Trump's decision, vowing to respond in kind if the U.S. places new missiles in Europe.

Trump threatened a nuclear buildup until other countries, particularly China and Russia, took another course.

"We have more money than anybody else by far. We’ll build it up until they come to their senses. When they do, then we'll all be smart. And we'll all stop. And by the way, not only stop, we'll reduce, which I would love to do. But right now, they have not adhered to the agreement," he said.

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